Pet owners: take the cucumber away from the cat

The mastermind behind last week’s Paris attacks is dead, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to suspend the flow of Syrian refugees into America, and presidential candidate Ben Carson compared the men and women and children fleeing terrorism to “rabid dogs.”

But let’s talk about cats and cucumbers.

There’s very few things cats can do that wouldn’t translate into a popular Internet meme. Watching them do practically anything is entertaining.

But the enjoyment we get out of humorous cat videos is usually pretty harmless. A cat chasing a laser pointer. A cat sleeping in a weird position.

We get a few laughs out of the cat’s quirky behavior, and the furry feline is none the wiser.

Cat and ccumberExcept, a new meme featuring cats and cucumbers has changed that dynamic, and it’s upsetting animal advocates all over the place.

Videos have gone viral of people stealthily placing a cucumber next to their cat as they’re eating from their food dish. The cat, completely unaware of the green vegetable’s presence, turns around, suddenly sees it, and becomes mortified.

Its protective reflexes then cause it to pounce high in the air in retreat, and naturally, it’s quite the funny sight. And pet owners are capitalizing on the phenomenon by filming it and posting it online.

However, articles are surfacing explaining why people need to stop doing this. For one, they’re saying that it’s not necessarily the fact that cats are afraid of cucumbers, but they fear anything that suddenly appears next to them without them knowing.

So when they turn and see an oddly shaped object in their immediate proximity, they become startled. Especially when it happens near their food dish, a place that cats associate with security and comfort.

Repeating this can cause cats to become stress ridden, cause them to injure themselves when they react by jumping suddenly, and also betray the trust between human and pet.

I’m with the experts here. People, I get the humor out of seeing your cat flip out — almost literally — but imagine being in their shoes. Or paws.

They have no clue what a cucumber is. Of course they’re going to immediately fear that it is a predator. Cucumbers are freaking weird looking.

If I turned my head right now and there was a cucumber six inches away that I did not expect to be there, then it would probably scare the hell out of me too. Heck, if I see anything pop into my peripheral vision that looks unfamiliar, I immediately become alarmed.

And cats are small creatures. A cucumber must look like an anaconda to them at first glance.

Why are people even buying cucumbers, anyway? Even as far as vegetables are concerned, they’re as bland as it gets. They contribute nothing to any dish.

So if you’re contributing to this meme, not only are you a terrible pet owner, but you have a terrible taste in food.

Cat lovers, let’s put a stop to this. Let’s all picket next to the produce section at our local grocery stores. Let’s start a new movement.

Forgot Occupy Wall Street.

Tomorrow, we begin Occupy Cucumber.

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